Professor F. Frank Chen named Society of Manufacturing Engineers fellow

Frank Chen

UTSA Professor F. Frank Chen

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(Oct. 19, 2011) -- The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the world's premier organization for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking, has elected UTSA mechanical engineering professor F. Frank Chen to its prestigious College of Fellows. Chen was one of 10 engineers honored by the organization this year, bringing the total number of SME fellows to 268 since the organization introduced the designation in 1986.

"Professor Chen is an innovator," said Mauli Agrawal, dean of the UTSA College of Engineering. "Where others see challenge, Dr. Chen sees opportunity. His technical knowledge and his ability to inspire others have forged a successful bridge between UTSA and the manufacturing community. He is to be commended for his accomplishments."

The UTSA Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair of Advanced Manufacturing, Chen has enjoyed professional success in academia and industry. His research interests include lean manufacturing and operations, design and analysis of flexible manufacturing systems, intelligent manufacturing, microelectronics and defense manufacturing, and enterprise integration and transformation. He is the author of nearly 200 publications and has served as a faculty adviser for more than 70 graduate students.

In 2007, Chen was the founding director of the UTSA Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems, a consortium of UTSA engineers and management scientists who encourage the adoption of lean, sustainable and flexible practices in manufacturing.

Before joining UTSA in 2006, Chen was the John L. Lawrence Professor of Manufacturing Systems Engineering in Virginia Tech's Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, where he established the Center for High Performance Manufacturing, a research center focused on flexible automation and lean manufacturing.

Over his career, his research has been supported by more than $13 million in funding from federal agencies, the military and private industries. Before his full-time academic career, Chen was employed in 1991 by Caterpillar Technical Center Manufacturing R&D Divisions where he served in several roles. While a senior engineer and project manager at Caterpillar, he led a research and technical services group that specialized in the design and control of manufacturing systems.

Chen earned his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in industrial engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1988 and 1985, respectively, and his B.E. in industrial engineering from Tunghau University in Taiwan in 1980.

"Frank has made outstanding contributions to the field of manufacturing by effectively bringing together the complementary aspects of industry and academia and bridging the gap," said Can Saygin, UTSA associate professor of mechanical engineering and a CAMLS member. "I have been fortunate to have known him for over 14 years as a mentor and as a friend."

The SME College of Fellows was created to honor members with 20 or more years of service in manufacturing engineering who have made outstanding contributions to the social, technological and educational aspects of the profession. Chen has been an SME member since 1983.